HOWARD COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) — Detectives are investigating a string of burglaries at Columbia and Ellicott City restaurants, four of which are Asian-owned businesses, Howard County Police said.

Police said, in the overnight hours of February 11-12, unknown suspect(s) entered six restaurants in Ellicott City and Columbia by breaking the glass doors.

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In Columbia, Bonchon, Urban Pot and Kung Fu Tea were burglarized. Cash was stolen from all three establishments. Corner Bakery was also burglarized, but nothing was stolen, according to police. 

In Ellicott City, Coal Fire Pizza and East Moon Asian Bistro were broken into. Nothing was stolen from Coal Fire Pizza, but cash and a safe were stolen from East Moon Asian Bistro.

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball issued the following statement on Twitter:

“Today our community is saddened by a string of burglaries that occurred in the last 24 hours. Our restaurant community is going through one of the toughest years that has ever existed for their industry and these crimes are adding unnecessary economic and mental stress.

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Furthermore, many of these restaurants are owned and operated by members of our Asian business community and feature Asian cuisine. To have these crimes occur during the beginning of Lunar New Year – a time of great celebration and joy – is additionally sad and distressing.”

Detectives believe these cases are part of a larger series of burglaries in the region in which the businesses were not all Asian-owned but are “considering every possibility, police said.

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These incidents are being investigated as commercial burglaries, police added.

CBS Baltimore Staff